Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Rave Review for Bill Bryson - Author Extraordinaire

The next selection for our book club is Bill Bryson’s “I’m a Stranger Here Myself” and I can’t wait to read it!

I’ve heard adoring reviews of his writing for years but have never picked up any of his books, not even his bestselling “A Walk in the Woods” which my sister raved about.

But because I hate to read things out of order, I’ve decided to start with his book “Notes from a Small Island” which is a sort of love letter to the UK where he lived for +20 years and started a family.

He writes it because he’s preparing to move back to the U.S. where he subsequently writes, “I’m a Stranger Here Myself”, which discusses the many American traditions which suddenly appear so quirky after being away for 2 decades.

While it may seem a bit premature to write a book review when I’ve only read 45 pages…I can’t help it because it is that fabulous and hilarious! He’s definitely got a great sense of humor and I’ve caught myself laughing aloud at times because of how great his writing is.

Below is a brief excerpt from “Notes from a Small Island” which neatly summarizes the book and his (hilarious) reasoning for returning to the States:

“I had come to Calais because I was about to embark on a grand tour of Britain and wanted to reenter the country as I had first seen it, from the sea. After nearly twenty years in England, my wife and I had taken the decision to move back to America for a while, to give the children the chance of experiencing life in another country and my wife the chance to shop until 10 P.M. seven nights a week. I had recently read that 3.7 million Americans, according to a Gallup poll, believed that they had been abducted by aliens at one time or another, so it was clear that my people needed me. But I had insisted on having one last look at Britain – a kind of valedictory tour around the green and kindly island that had for two decades been my home.”

So if you’re looking for a holiday gift for one of your favorite readers, or you’re looking for books to read during your holiday break – I highly recommend checking out Bill Bryson!

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